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@ElizaBTweetin: August 15, 1872: Island Ledge House

Posted on August 13, 2013

Eliza B. Wheaton's diary, 13-18 August 1872

Eliza B. Wheaton's diary, 13-18 August 1872

Finding it too hot when not directly on the shore, Eliza still had hopes of reaching Conway, NH, and the cooler mountains, but learned from fellow travelers that the town was already full of tourists.  Instead, she and her party moved on to the Island Ledge House in Wells Beach, Maine.

Island Ledge House, Wells Beach, ME.

Island Ledge House, Wells Beach, ME.

Beginning in the 1840s, the Industrial Revolution, with its railroads and factory owners, brought prosperity to coastal towns, where the wealthy came to escape the heat and humidity of inland cities and towns.  The Atlantic House, built in the late 1840s, was the first hotel in Wells to cater to these summer visitors.  The Island Ledge House, built in 1872, was bran-new when visited by Eliza and her friends.  The four-storey hotel was surrounded by a two level veranda and extensive landscaped grounds. It lasted only five years, burning in 1877, followed by a fire that destroyed the Atlantic House in 1885, decreasing tourism in Wells until the early 20th century.

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